By Dr. Rajwant Singh Chilana
Indo-Canadians are encouraged to visit and borrow books and make use of free services
Public Libraries in British Columbia provide educational, informational, cultural and recreational material and services for all residents in the province. These are local centers of information, making all kinds of knowledge and literature easily accessible to library patrons. They promote literacy and the pure enjoyment of reading, and are also provide places where people can go to get information, whether it’s for leisure, for study or for work.
There are many public libraries in the Greater Vancouver area that provide books, magazines, newspapers, CDs, DVDs and other media as well as access to electronic resources and electronic books, including many which are only available on subscription. Multilingual trained staff help customers to access the information and resources they need. These libraries provide opportunities for lifelong learning, and help children and young people develop imagination and creativity, and they give adults the opportunity to learn about their cultural heritage, and about the arts, science and technology. Tools and equipment to access the internet, training including free Wi-Fi are available for all.
Surrey, Vancouver and Fraser Valley Libraries are among the largest libraries that have a good selection of popular fiction and non-fiction books in Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu languages. Also these libraries have newspapers and popular magazines in these languages. We are fortunate to have such good collections of library materials in Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, English, Gujarati, Bengali and other Indian languages in most of our public libraries across the province.
Whether people are living in Surrey, Delta, Vancouver, Richmond, New West Minster, Port Moody, Langley, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Abbotsford, or other communities, they will find public libraries in their neighborhoods. If a book is not available in local libraries, it can be requested from other libraries on Inter Library Loan without any cost. Also suggestions for purchase for new or old books are always welcomed by the library staff. When books are acquired and processed, library members are informed about such books, and they may come and check out books. Library customers may borrow books from their local branches and return in any other branch. During a recent survey it was found that Surrey, Vancouver and Fraser Valley Libraries have a good number of South Asian materials for their growing membership. In most of these libraries books are issued for three to four weeks period, and members may borrow as many books as they can read but these should be returned on due dates otherwise fine many be charged. Also make sure to keep library material in good condition and books are not spoiled. Many libraries across BC have good physical facilities that can be used by the public for meetings, small seminars, or other programs. Books that have become old or not in much use, are put on sale by the libraries at a very nominal cost. Dual language books are also available for children, and there is a large collection of ESL material in various libraries.
Popular Writers Books
Surrey, Vancouver and Fraser Valley Libraries have a large number of popular novels, short stories, and poetry books by famous authors, and many non-fiction titles that include Astrology, Biography, Health, Yoga, Sports, Religions, Cooking, etc. Also they carry works of local Canadian and American Punjabi writers. Some of the most popular authors are:
Nanak Singh, Amrita Pritam, Dhani Ram Chatrik, Narenderpal Singh, Prabhjot Kaur, Gurbaksh Singh, Dalip Kaur Tiwana, Ram Sarup Anakhi, Jaswant Singh Kanwal, Sant Singh, Sekhon, Khuswant Singh, Shiv Kumar Batalavi, Balraj Sahni, Kartar Singh Duggal, Bachint Kaur, Bhai Vir Singh, Balwant Gargi, Surjit Paatar, Ajeet Cour, Mohan Singh, Harbhajan Singh, G.S. Bhullar, Jagtar, Shivcharan Jaggi Kussa, and many more.
Local Writers Books
There are many local writers in Canada who have published a number of good books in Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu languages. Their books can too be taken on loan from the public libraries, and if these are not in their collections these can be requested for purchase. Followings are some of prominent authors:
Abnash Kaur Gill, Ajmer Rode, Ajmer Singh Randhawa, Amanpal Sara, Amarjit Kaur Shant, Amarjit Sathi, Amarjit Soofi, Amerjit Chahal, Amrit Diwana, Avtar Virdi, Baldev Singh Seehra, Baljinder Kaur Dhillon, Baljinder Singh Sangha, Balkar Singh Bajwa, Barjinder Kaur Dhillon, Bhupinder Dulle, Darshan Singh Gill(late), Davinder Kaur Johal, Gill Moranwali, Gurbakhsh Singh Bhandal, Gurcharan Rampuri, Gurdarshan Singh Badal, Gurdial Kanwal, Gurdish Kaur Grewal, Harbhajan Singh Mangat, Harcharan Singh Bagri, Harjit, Daudharia, Inderjit Kaur Sandhu, Iqbal Mahil, Jaiteg Singh Anant, Jarnail Singh Artist, Jarnail Singh Sekha, Jasbir Kalrvi, Joginder Singh Sangha, Kewal Singh Nirdosh, Krishan Bhanot, Kulwinder Khaira, Major Singh Nagra, Malook Chand Kaler, Manjit Meet, Mittar Rasha, Mohan Gill, Manga Singh Bassi, Mohinder Singh Dhillon, Mohinder Soomel, Nachattar Singh Brar, Nadeem Parmar, Navtej Bharati, Paul Dhillon, Pritam Singh Dhanjal, Puran Singh Gill, Pushap Deep, Rajinder Singh Pandher, Rajwant Singh Bagri, Dr.Rajwant Singh Chilana, Ramanpreet Randhawa, Raminder Sidhu, Rana Channa, Ranjit Kingra, Ranjit Laddi (Govindpuri), Rapinder Rai, Ravinder Ravi, Roopinder Khaira Roopi, Sadhu Binning, Shamsher Singh Sandhu, Shangara Singh Sanghera, Shingar Singh Sandhu, Sukhinder, Sukhminder Rampuri, Sukhwant Hundal, Surinder Dhanjal, Surinder Pal Kaur Brar, Surjit Kalsey, Sushil Kaur, Swaranjit Savi, Tandeep Tamanna, Tarlochan Singh Gill, Waryam Singh Sandhu, and many others.
Next week: Library Programs and info on the Libraries in your neighbourhood
Dr. Rajwant Singh Chilana is Managing Director of the India Bookworld, 117-B, 12888-80th Ave (York Center), Surrey, BC, V3W 3A8, www.indiabookworld.ca